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Grantham Town gear up for competitive football as outdoor sport returns when lockdown lifts

The latest Government announcement confirmed that all sport, including grass roots, will be returning when lockdown restrictions are lifted on December 2.

Gyms and leisure centres are also allowed to reopen across all tiers, with fans permitted to return to sporting events, depending on the area’s tier level.

As a result of this, Grantham Town will be thrust back into league action just three days after the end of lockdown. Although the situation is less than ideal after a month-long break from competitive football, Gingerbread manager, Martin McIntosh wants to build on Town’s positive performances before lockdown.

Martin McIntosh wants his side to "hit the ground running" when lockdown ends (43101565)
Martin McIntosh wants his side to "hit the ground running" when lockdown ends (43101565)

Their first fixture will be on Saturday, December 5, at Bamber Bridge in the league, followed by an FA Trophy tie with St Ives Town on Tuesday, December 8, at The Meres. Tickets for the latter will go on sale once further information is provided about which tier Grantham will be in following lockdown.

McIntosh said: “I wanted a bit of time to get us in and see where we all actually are with our fitness. I’ve kept in touch with everyone and they all have been working hard on that.

“We will get everyone in on the Thursday, we’ll run through as much as we can. It’ll be good to be back together. We went into lockdown after two good performances and we want to build on that.

Tom Ward picks a pass (42274978)
Tom Ward picks a pass (42274978)

“We’ve talked about that as a group as we went into lockdown, it’s been part of my conversations with them during and it’s where want to pick up from straight

Town chairman Darren Ashton said: “I’m really pleased that we got that green light to get back playing. Sadly at the moment we don’t know what it is going to mean for supporters who want to travel. Until we know what tier we’re in and other clubs are, it’s going to be difficult.

“Government have said that fans cannot attend stadia in Tier 3, however it’s still unclear if that is Elite Level Football or all football. Once we do know everything we’ll make sure we let the supporters know via the website and social media.”

Grantham defender Tom Ward added: “We’re all itching to get playing again. I’ve been fortunate that I work with the Academy so have been able to get involved. There are other lads though that have had to train on their own. We’ll be ready though come 3pm on the 5th.”

Harrowby United will look to continue on their flying start to the season in the United Counties League Division One, where they currently lie in fourth place with a game in hand on all three teams above them.

The Arrows’ first scheduled fixture after lockdown lifts is currently an away trip to Saint Andrews on December 12, although a match may be arranged on December 5 as the league looks to fit in a month’s worth of postponed fixtures into an already tight schedule.

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